Caldera in Santorini
Santorini Caldera: The Santorini Caldera undoubtedly is one of the natural wonders on planet earth. The volcanic explosion that occurred here 3500 years ago forever changed the topography of the Mediterranean coast.
The caldera of Santorini is actually a basin, four miles in diameter which scientists and archaeologists have linked with the myth of Atlantis. The landscape consists of steep rocks and cliffs that tower above almost touching the sky. It is more than a thousand feet above the sea level and extends underneath the sea for an additional thousand feet, thereby creating a perfect harbor. The caldera has an elevation, which varies between 150 to 350 meters. The distance from one end of the island (Cape Exomitis) to the other end (Cape Mavropetra) is 18 km. The island's breadth varies from 2 to 6 km.
To the northernmost part of the Caldera is the town of Oia. This town is much preferred by the tourists and throbs with activity with plenty of bars, restaurants, and hotels that are ideally positioned on rocky promontories which provide fabulous panoramic views to the Santorini Caldera. Oia can be reached by a road that meanders along the steep cliffs located to the eastern periphery of Santorini. At certain points, this road is so narrow that it looks more like a ridge that can barely accommodate two lanes with no railing for protection.
The capital city of Fira is ideally located to the eastern elevation of the Caldera. The town is well spread over several high cliffs some of which towers above reaching heights of 1,200 feet above sea level which makes for an awesome spectacle. Fira like Oia is replete with bars, restaurants, and hotels that have been built in vantage locales with a view to providing the discerning tourists with amazing panoramic vistas of the Santorini caldera. The principal port of Santorini is just below the cliff and tourists who arrive at the port of Fira always have the option of embarking on a donkey ride that takes them to the summit from where the surrounding natural panorama is absolutely breathtaking, to say the least.
Today, the caldera of Santorini is one of the most important geological configurations on planet earth and rightfully, it has been the subject of higher research in the domain of Geology as well as Archaeology.